Exclusive: Arteta loves La Liga star but Prem ace looks more likely Arsenal transfer target, according to expert

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is a big fan of Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi but the deal could be complicated, with a move for Everton’s Amadou Onana perhaps the more likely scenario.

That’s according to Arsenal journalist Charles Watts as he spoke exclusively to CaughtOffside for his Daily Briefing column today, with the Gunners expert providing some insight into what kind of midfielders are likely to be on the club’s radar for the summer.

Arsenal spent big on Declan Rice last year, but Granit Xhaka also needed to be replaced, while players in the squad now like Jorginho and Thomas Partey are not getting any younger.

The main names linked have been Zubimendi and Onana, as well as Aston Villa’s Douglas Luis, but Watts expects that the latter might be too expensive.

One complication with Zubimendi, however, is that it’s not clear if the Spain international really wants to leave his current club, which means Watts wouldn’t be surprised if Onana ends up being the main target.

Zubimendi transfer brings challenges…Onana instead for Arsenal?

“I do expect Arsenal to sign a midfielder this summer, but a lot will depend on what happens with the midfielders they currently have,” Watts explained.

He added: “Ideally they would like Jorginho to stay, and then they have to sort out Thomas Partey’s future. Partey still has a year left on his deal and, just like last summer, Arsenal would not stand in his way of leaving should a decent offer arrive for the Ghana international

Should that happen, then they would have to replace him and Martin Zubimendi is a player they believe can play the Partey role. Mikel Arteta knows Zubimendi well and is a big admirer of the Spain international, but there is uncertainty around whether he actually wants to leave Real Sociedad. There is also expected to be strong rival interest in the 25-year-old, so it might not be an easy deal to get done.

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